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On Boxing Day, I gobbled up a steaming bowl of Pho. It was indeed the perfect hangover remedy. A few weeks ago, after my Indian-Singaporean family eagerly took pictures with the Aboriginal street performers at Circular Quay, I had a long chat about Indigenous and Indian cultures with one of the performers. A few days ago, I wrote a preview about a play where a Fijian Indian woman plays the lead. Next month, I’ll see Arj Barker, Akmal and Carl Barron together on the same stage for Comedians Unite. And just yesterday, an African-American woman made thousands of Melbournites go wild with ecstasy when she screamed, “AUUSTRAALIAA!”

Oprah’s Australia in 2010/2011 is a mixed bag or as SBS would say, “ Six million stories and counting”. There may be millions of stories but somehow they are never quite the same. Paul Capsis proved this last year with Angela’s Kitchen, an emotional journey into his Maltese ancestry. This year, renowned photographer William Yang (who had his own show My Generation last year at CarriageWorks) and writer/broadcaster Annette Shun Wah are collaborating six storytellers from China, Malaysia and Vietnam to convey their experiences on stage in Stories East & West (Jan 28 & 29). Then, Yang meets 2004 Australia Day Citizen of the Year Noeline Briggs-Smith who is of Aboriginal descent in Moree (Feb 4). Both performances combine personal photographs with the age-old tradition of storytelling. Nothing is untouched. From very private experiences to Sydney’s gay scene in the 80s, Yang will go there. This is a show bag with maximum mix.

Until Feb 4, Riverside Theatres Parramatta, Cnr Church and Market Streets, Parramatta, $28-36, 8839 3399,


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